Thursday, March 6, 2014

A child's eye view of culture and tradition



I'm delighted to welcome Subhash Kommuru, author of the children's book, Bargad, to my blog today. As a fellow immigrant to the US, I was curious about what sort of problems the author might face, introducing American children to their Indian cultural heritage in fiction, and I'm delighted to share his reply here. Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog, Subhash. And readers, don't forget to to read to the end of the this post where there's a great giveaway.



The problems and joys of sharing culture and tradition with children.
 
To really get to culture, one has to understand what is your culture and what is your value? In fact Bargad, name of my book is an attempt to stir that feeling in you. When you ask any Indian about india, they will tell you so many things about food, dance, music, temple etc. But no one will ever tell you or be able to speak to you about Bargad and its national tree of India. It’s not because they don’t know it exists, but its warmth and comfort has settled deep in the mind that it’s not on your verbal cue. Bargad, is an attempt to exercise that part of your emotion.

I suppose once you have answer to those questions then you have to dig a little deeper into yourself and ask how did you learn those? Remember a parent is the biggest idol for kid. You realize it or not, they are paying attention to every step you take and every move you make. They want to be like you.

If somehow one thinks that we can act differently but expect kid to be pick up on Indian culture then you are up for a surprise. At the end of it you have evaluate the environment that you are in. I believe that there is no point in imposing any culture on a kid just because you think it’s the right thing to do. To gain a little you have to give a little, so be open minded to understand environment, learn some and then apply. It’s like building a planned city, you wouldn’t just start to put buildings together, you will see what works from past and what can be done to make it better. So coming from India to US gives us a unique opportunity to find that right blend to nourish a growing mind.

If there is one advantage to actually be a cultural teacher, then it’s that for once in your life you can look into your kid’s eye with a straight face and tell them that I know more than you do about Indian culture :) just don’t push it too far.

 Oh, I like that. Of course, my kids are grown now, and tell me, with a straight face, that they know more about American culture. 'Tis true, but it's a delight to remind them of their English roots from time to time. Thank you for introducing me to something of your Indian roots--I love that sense of warmth and comfort, deep below the surface of what the tour-guides show.




About the book


Title:  Bargad
Author:  Subhash Kommuru
Illustrator: Sujata Kommuru
Published: December 4th, 2013
Publisher:  Kommuru Books
Word Count:  2,000
Genre:  Children’s Book
Synopsis:
A tree that has used its branches to keep people safe for many decades now needs help from those same people to save itself. In Hindi, Bargad means Banyan Tree, the national tree of India. Bargad is a compelling story of love, compassion and gratitude that incorporates the Banyan tree as a way to teach children how to care for and respect many things - from family to the environment, in a way that is easy-to-understand. While this wonderful old tree has withstood all the challenges of time, will it now be able to withstand modernization and will any of the people in the small village come to its aid to help save it the way it has helped save them over generations?




About the Author:
Subhash and Sujata hail from India. They migrated to the United States along with their memories of childhood and youth. Now that they are parents, just like every immigrant they crave to introduce their child to the culture and values of their upbringing. Yet it is challenging to teach something while you are in the midst of adjusting to a different culture yourself. Subhash and Sujata both work in different disciplines and have different styles and backgrounds, but it is the upbringing of their son that brings them on the same page. That exact place where they meet is captured and reflected in their stories, where Subhash can express in words, and Sujata can illustrate them beautifully. Where he puts it in black and white, she adds color to it. You get the idea! These stories are their attempt to share a glimpse of their childhood days with their son. He is their inspiration to write short stories that have meaning to them and provide teaching in some shape or form.


Giveaway Details:
There is an International tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Ebook copy of Bargad
And don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments: